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Yogananda in Samadhi

Paramhansa Yogananda
March 5, 2020

Paramhansa Yogananda’s arrival in Boston in 1920 marked the beginning of a new wave of spiritual consciousness in America and throughout the world. His mission was one of world peace and brotherhood, as well as individual Self-realization, both of which he said could be achieved through the practice of transformative meditation techniques such as Kriya Yoga, which he referred to as “the airplane route to God.”

When he published his now famous Autobiography of a Yogi in 1946, it was soon after the close of the second World War, a conflict which he prayed would never be repeated. The book had tremendous influence and inspired spiritual leaders in the growing counter-culture movement which blossomed over a decade later. Through his books, teachings, and practices of meditation and yoga, Yogananda helped to usher in the sweeping increase in interest in peace, consciousness, and self-transformation. For this he is often known today as the “father of yoga in the West.”

We celebrate the change of consciousness that began in the 20th century and continues today. In it lies one of our greatest hopes for the future.


Paramhansa Yogananda: "Yoga is not magic, sword swallowing. or crystal gazing. But it's the art of super-living as discovered by the ancient sages of India in 1500 BC. If the Western brothers only could learn the methods of the yogis, then they would learn to live 100 years in perfect health, happiness, and great success.

"You people do not sleep correctly and allow your sleep to be disturbed by the mental movies of dreams. You subconsciously worry about unpaid bills and troubles.

"The reason for lying in this posture is to keep the internal organs floating in the tray of the chest and abdomen free from any pressure. But by closing the eyes and inner relaxation I can remain asleep several nights and by opening the eyes and recharging the body, I can keep awake several days.

"Now, I will go into the state of superconscious bliss by lifting my eyes higher, inner relaxation, and controlling my heartbeat."

Recorded in London during Paramhansa Yogananda's visit in 1936 before returning to America.

Licensed from British Pathé/Reuters